IEEE Hot Interconnects is the premier international forum for researchers and developers of state-of-the-art hardware and software architectures and implementations for interconnection networks of all scales, ranging from multi-core on-chip interconnects to those within systems, clusters, data centers and clouds. This year, Hot Interconnects was held in Santa Clara, CA from August 26-28. I’m grateful to the organizers of this year’s conference for inviting me to deliver a talk about Network Functions Virtualization (NFV). I was put forward by VMware as a speaker for the symposium, as I am considered the subject matter expert here for NFV. The talk was well received by the audience, which was more than 150 strong. VMware was formed out of a Stanford research project to virtualize the x86 architecture, a difficult feat considering the complexity of x86 architecture. Over the past several years, both Intel and AMD have added support in hardware for virtualization extensions that helped improve performance and scale for hypervisors to support more workloads with higher consolidation ratios. Today, about 75% of x86 server workloads run in virtual machines (VMs), primarily on data center infrastructure. NFV is about leveraging standard virtualization technology to consolidate network equipment onto industry standard high volume servers, switches and [...]
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